15 years ago, the movie genre was revolutionized. We were given a gift from Disney and Pixar called Toy Story. The first feature film that used only 3D computer animation, was about a group of toys that come to life when their owner wasn’t around. The first movie was about Sheriff Woody, and new toy Buzz Lightyear. That movie was pretty much perfection and was deemed by the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” on its first year of eligibility.
So how do you follow that up? By making a sequel, Toy Story 2 which was even BETTER than the first! It has a 100% approval rating everywhere. In the second film we got introduced to the other character’s from Woody’s series of toys. Jesse, a FANTASTIC character voiced by Joan Cusack and one of my favourites stole the show. Toy Story 2 in my eyes was untouchable.
And what did Disney do? Well, they decided to pull out a THIRD Toy Story…and it’s ABSOLUTE PERFECTION! This movie is SO good, that I don’t even know how to critique it. I really have absolutely NOTHING negative to say about this film, and for me that’s pretty amazing since I have something negative to say about everything.
Toy Story 3 starts off with Andy, now 17, getting ready to head to College. It has been years since he’s played with his toys, and yet he keeps them all locked away safely in a chest in his room. As his mother is forcing him to pack everything up, the toys are worried they will be throw out into the trash, but Woody assures them they are going to the attic where it’s safe. Andy starts throwing his town into a garbage bag, all of the toys, except for Woody. As Andy gets ready to put the toys in the attic, his mother mistakenly thinks the garbage bag is trash, and sets it outside. The toys freak out and end up busting out of the garbage bag before the truck comes, and instead of believing Woody who said they were going to be put up in the attic, they jump into a box marked “SUNNYSIDE”, to be donated to the day care.
As they go to Sunnyside, which is a daycare facility, they meet a whole lot of other donated toys, including Lotso Huggin Bear, who is the elder toy in charge. A pink very sweet stuffed bear who smells like Strawberry. Barbie meets Ken (voiced by Michael Keaton, one of the FUNNIEST additions to this storyline), everyone is kind, accepting, and the toys are excited to be played again; all the toys except for Woody.
As Woody escapes from Sunnyside, the others are put into the second room which is the toddler’s playroom. They don’t get played with, they get tortured, broken, battered beaten, Sunnyside is not a very Sunny place, and we find out that that Lotso runs it like a warcamp.
While this happening, Woody gets picked up by a little girl named Bonnie, who takes Woody home and plays with him and her other toys, and Woody had the time of his life and even though he loved being played with again, he has to go back to Sunnyside to save his friends.
As Woody comes back, all the toys have been imprisoned and Buzz is no longer himself, Lotso having reset his fuctions. Andy’s toys all devise a plan to escape, and execute it pretty much perfectly (GREAT scene with Barbie and Ken) they get stopped by Lotso and his crew…and the story turns pretty dark.
The toys get thrown into the dump, and actually get almost killed about 4 times. In an incredibly touching scene as they are being dumped into the inferno with absolutely no light at the end of the tunnel, they each grab each other’s hands and prepare for death. I WAS A MESS! It was SO terrifying and an incredibly amazing turn for the story to take.
The toys are saved by the claw (three aliens…love them), and head back home where Woody realizes that it’s time to move on. And in one of the most incredibly touching and hopeful endings in a movie I have ever seen, the Toy Story trilogy is complete.
There is SO much humour, and terror, and tears and laughter in this movie that I can’t say anything but BRAVO to the studio for making this piece of brilliance. Unlike the Shrek sequels, this second sequel made me so incredibly happy. Every fan of Toy Story will be incredibly happy with this film, and I will definitely be going to see this again.
Rating: 6/5…can I give a 6 out of 5.